The modern home should be a sanctuary from the chaos of modern times. In the midst of an economic crisis, crime, stress, and exhaustion, a clean and simple living space is a valuable refuge. Does your living room look like it was designed with intention, or does it leave something to be desired? Does it work with you and change with your needs, or do you feel like you are fighting against it? The modern design movement uses simplicity and clean beauty to create effortless design and practical living. With a little thought and some experimentation, you can update the look of your house and give it a new and modern touch.
Before the modern design movement, luxury furniture was designed to be overly-elaborate and flamboyant. Value was determined by the amount of work and time that went into a piece, and functionality of each piece was not at the top of the priority list. However, the modern design movement has taken design back to its roots and revolutionized that way we assign value to particular pieces. Rather than overly-ornate and decorated pieces, modernists prefer to focus on the elements that make up the essence of the item. They see beauty in clean lines and simple geometry. Simplicity is beautiful.
The five-piece living room set is no longer the design model for modern furniture. Look for pieces that compliment one another in color and form, but do not match too perfectly. Use bold colors and pieces of art to create a theme, rather than overly-manufactured and generic furniture. Signature pieces with interesting and attention-grabbing appeal are more important that getting every piece to match. Modern furniture’s simplicity does not mean it should be devoid of personality or character. Interesting pieces can be paired with a black and white background that shows them off.
Although individual pieces of modern furniture may not have too many details, achieving a modern look may depend on attention to detail. Even small elements like desk lamps and storage containers can make or break the look. Simple lines must continue throughout the entire space.
Modernism is about more than aesthetic design; the materials used in each piece of furniture are also incredibly important. Furniture can be light as well as sturdy by using molded plywood and plastics. Many designers are also looking to recycled materials to use in furniture. These materials are more environmentally friendly, so you can feel good about the redecorating. Also consider using fabrics imported by fair trade companies; fair trade is a designation that lets you know that the workers who produced your goods were paid a fair wage and worked in just conditions. Thinking about the environment and the people who produce your furniture is a modern design trend that allows you to be a part of something larger than yourself.
Functionality is also an important aspect of modern furniture that should not be overlooked. Look for furniture that can be rearranged and reorganized. Containers that house games, DVDs, and books can also serve as ottomans, chairs, and coffee tables. It is called a living room for a reason, so your furniture should be practical. Also look as pieces that be split into pieces. Pillows and storage pieces that coordinate, but do not match perfectly, and great items to have because they can move around the space and change function without looking out of place. Modern furniture can be new and comfortable, and using interesting angles and shapes does not mean that they should not also be relaxing.
Picking the colors in your living room is an exciting part of redecorating. Include your furniture in the palate. Modern furnitures’ use of varying materials means that you are not restricted to just shades of wood. Consider using a couch or chair as an accent color; don’t be afraid to have a brightly colored piece to make that color pop. Color matching requires a degree of creativity and trial-and-error. Take the time to rearrange and make it your own. The modern design movement has also benefited from technology. This allows modern furniture designers to plan projects on the computer and play with colors and angles before using digital cutting methods. You can use this to your advantage, as well. There are several computer-based design programs that can help you visualize size dimensions and color coordination.
Do not be afraid to incorporate international influences in your design. Part of what inspired the advent of modern furniture design was globalization and greater exposure to Asian and African architectural influences. The influence of Japanese design is particularly present, which uses solid colors and contrasting patterns. The western Art Nouveau movement stemmed from the opening of Japan’s borders. Take advantage of the Internet and your access to these cultures in designing your own living room. Getting rid of rustic American furniture can quickly update the style of your living room when replaced with modern furniture.
At the end of the day, a modern living room should be fun! Modern furniture is about luxury and elegance, but it is not about being stuffy. It is rich and livable at the same time. You can redesign your living room slowly be adding modern furniture piece one at a time. It should be a stress-free experience that creates a stress-free space. Consider spending money or one or two pieces that really make the room, and treat the rest of the space like a canvas that displays them. Do what feels right. Happy decorating!